No one is safe, at least not anyone with a device that connects to the internet and in this day and age most devices do. Watches, phones, toothbrushes, toasters and countless other items can all be connected and in the years to come we can only expect so much more. All these items are currently at risk of being taken under control by hackers and turned into tools for mining cryptocurrency.
This past Wednesday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, a Czech Republic based company called Avast demonstrated how numerous devices can be made to mine cryptocurrency by running them on a network powering virtual currency mining software.
According to Avast, they need to hack up to 15,000 gadgets to mine $1,000 worth of cryptocurrency in just four days. That doesn’t sound like a huge bundle of money, but given that everything today is connected, it will be pretty easy to find that many hackable devices and then all they have to do just sit back and wait for the money to come in.
It doesn’t help that many of these internet connected devices have substandard security. Buying yourself a pair of smart flip flops would be the perfect gift for a cyber criminal looking for a quick device to hack into and start mining Monero.
What exactly is the reason for this lackluster security? Usually manufacturers embed the same password into every device they sell. Sometimes a manufacturer also fails to issue updates after they sell the devices. Other times it has everything to do with the owner of the item not customizing the password after they buy such a device.
When it comes to computers being hacked to mine cryptocurrency, you can easily check by looking at your CPU usage. If it’s sky rocking to abnormal highs chances are something fishy is going on. With a smart toothbrush this can be hard to do. Luckily, Avast is set to release a smart home security package that will prevent hackers from getting to your electronic devices and energy. Details having to do with a release date haven’t been announced, but Avast has stated that it will be released later this year.